4:10 PM ET May 11, 2019 | 1:50 PM ET April 25, 2020The United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia are among the world’s most heavily polluting nations, and their emissions have risen faster than the global average.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a sweeping new set of rules to limit the amount of carbon dioxide pollution from power plants and industrial facilities that is expected to cost the economy $100 billion to $150 billion annually by 2040.
The U.S. EPA says the new regulations will help address climate change by reducing emissions from power stations and industrial buildings and by limiting emissions from landfills.
The U.K. has been among the worst polluters in Europe, and has been one of the most vocal critics of the Paris agreement, which is meant to cut emissions and promote sustainable development.
A report by the Independent Climate Change Commission says Britain is the third most polluting country in the world, with emissions of CO2 reaching about 3.5 million metric tons of CO 2 per year.
The EPA’s proposed rules would help slow the pace of climate change, but it would also cost billions in annual CO 2 costs and could have unintended consequences, like forcing businesses to buy cleaner power sources.
The EPA is proposing to limit power plant emissions to about 20 percent of their pre-industrial level by 2030.
But the EPA’s rules also could have major impacts for smaller, non-industrial countries that have less developed power grids and are struggling to adapt to climate change.
“If these regulations are enacted, the US will become one of just four countries that has not fully implemented CO2 emission reductions,” said Tom Evers, director of the International Center for Clean Energy Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
The proposed rules come as U.N. negotiators prepare to discuss the future of the climate agreement.
They’re being pushed by President Donald Trump and many Republicans in Congress, who believe the United States should remain in the Paris accord.
But there are also fears that the rules could hurt small businesses, and that they could hurt businesses that are struggling with the fallout from climate change as the economy recovers from the Great Recession.
“I think the EPA has made some of the biggest errors in their record, and the regulations could have an effect on small business,” said Dan Gross, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
“If they’re not sufficiently cost-effective, they could make businesses lose money.”
The EPA says it will review the rules to ensure that they are cost-competitive with existing technologies, like wind, solar and hydroelectric power, as well as other sources of clean energy.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said last month that the agency is “open to hearing ideas on alternatives to the regulations.”
The rules also come at a critical moment for the U. S. economy.
As it struggles to recover from the recession, the economy has slowed.
But it has been adding jobs, and many economists expect the economy to grow by 1.2 percent in 2020.